I think, due more to having way more time off than I'm equipped to handle, I was just ready to roll up my sleeves and plunge into some serious cooking. Today, I made my Grandmother's favorite meal - ravioli, meatballs, garlic bread, and homemade sauce. You see, this Monday would have been her 80th birthday. I still miss her dreadfully - it sneaks up on me unawares and has me crying at the oddest moments. Simon and Garfunkle's "Bridge over Troubled Water" never fails to bring me to tears - she loved that song. My father sang it at her funeral.
Chopping onions for the sauce and meatballs gave me a great excuse to let go of some of the emotions I've been carrying around with me recently. Sneaky grief over my grandmother, frustration with my job, stress over some friends, changes in my body - it all just caught up with me as I minced the biggest goddamn onion I've ever bought into uniform bits. I diced peppers, pulverized garlic, and squished plum tomatoes into oblivion.
The sauce bubbled, aromatic, on the back of the stove while I rolled uniform balls of seasoned ground beef and spaced them out on a baking sheet. Plump ravioli slid into salted boiling water and rose proud to the surface. A clove of garlic rasped over toasted Tuscan bread, joined by a scraping of butter and a cloud of parmesan cheese, before being slipped into a hot oven to bubble and brown. The finished meatballs married the sauce, then joined the ravioli in a colorful bowl for a flavorful menage a trois.
Within an hour, I had created both dinner and a tribute. It was some of the tastiest therapy I've ever had.